Vol. 53 ▪ No. 5 Washington D.C.
An Italian American Gazette of the Greater Washington D.C. Area
May 2014 $1.50
Anita McBride Among Recipients Nation's Capital Celebrates the Sainthood of Two Popes of Ellis Island Medal of Honor "Pope's maestro" Sir Gilbert Levine conducts concert in their honor
by Francesco Isgrò
Anita Bevacqua McBride, a former assistant to President George W. Bush and chief of staff to First Lady Laura Bush, is being honored with the 2014 Ellis Island Medal of Honor. The award, which celebrates the diversity of American life by honoring the immigrant experience, is presented each year in a ceremony and gala dinner held in May in the historic Great Hall at Ellis Island, New York. "I am overwhelmed, honored and deeply humbled to be a recipient of this award," McBride told Voce Italiana. "My immediate thoughts were of my parents, and of my grandparents, who passed through the same hall where we will have this celebration. I know it's on their shoulders on which I stand when I receive the award." Founded by the National Ethnic Coalition of Organizations in 1986, the Ellis Island Medal honors the contributions made to America by immigrants and the legacy they left behind in the successes of their children and grandchildren.
Continued on page 2
Concert sponsors John J. De Gioia, president of Georgetown University, Amb. Ryszard Schnepf of Poland, Amb. Claudio Bisogniero of Italy, Cardinal Donald Wuerl, Amb. Cecilia Nahon of Argentina, Sir Gilbert Levine, conductor, Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, Apostolic Nuncio, Sharon Percy Rockefeller, president of WETA
Anita Bevacqua McBride
Age'," after the Vatican II document Nostre Aetate, (In Our Age), included Symphony No. 1 in C minor by Brahms, Leonard Bernstein's Chichester Psalms, a choral work in Hebrew, and Aaron Copeland's Fanfare for the Common Man, among other celebrated and lesser-known pieces. Washington Cardinal Donald Wuerl, in pre-concert remarks said that "John XXII and John Paul II had an extraordinary global impact. John XXIII ushered in a whole new era with Vatican II and they both saw the Continued on page 4
Constitution Hall was the site of a musical celebration on May 5, in honor of Pope John XXIII and Pope John Paul II, who were canonized in Rome in late April. Noted American conductor Sir Gilbert Levine, who is often called the "Pope's maestro" because of his close friendship with Pope John Paul II, conducted Carnegie Hall's Orchestra of St. Luke, the 85-voice Krakow Philharmonic Choir and the 180-voice Choral Arts Society of Washington, in a broad international musical program before a packed audience. The concert, called "Peace through Music 'In Our
Queen Margherita 3
Ralph Fasanella Exhibition 7
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Italy Removed from Intellectual Property Rights Watch List Removal is result of new Italian regulations to combat copyright piracy
After more than two decades, Italy has been removed at last from the list that identifies U.S. trading partners that have inadequate protection and enforcement of intellectual property rights. The U.S. Trade Representative has maintained the "Watch List" for 25 years, and Italy has remained on the list since the initial report. The impetus to remove Italy from the list came when the Italian Communications Regulatory Authority adopted this past December a number of long-awaited regulations to combat copyright piracy over the Internet. Among other things, the regulations include procedures that incorporate due process safeguards and establish a mechanism for addressing large-scale piracy.
An Italian American Gazette of the Greater Washington DC Area Published ten times per year by Holy Rosary Church/Casa ltaliana Editor-in-Chief
Rev. Ezio Marchetto, C.S.
Executive Editor Francesco Isgrò
Lucia Portanova (202) 638-0165
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The Italian regulations entered into force on March 14, 2014 and the notice of Italy's removal from the Watch List was published in the USTR's recent "Special 301" Report. "The adoption and entry into force of these regulations is a significant achievement," the USTR stated, "resulting from intensive efforts over many years."
Anita McBride Receives Ellis Island Medal of Honor Continued from page 1
McBride joins a long roster of former recipients, both native-born and naturalized U.S. citizens from various ethnic backgrounds, many of whom, like McBride, can document their family's entry to America through Ellis Island. Past medalists include six presidents, among them George H.W. Bush, Nobel Prize winners and other celebrated individuals such as Joe DiMaggio, Renee Fleming, Bob Hope, and Henry Kissinger, to name a few. McBride, who is currently executive-in-residence at the School of Public Affairs at American University, previously served in the White House for two decades under three presidential administrations. She was director of White House personnel under Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush. As chief of staff to Mrs. Bush, she directed the staff's work on
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"We look forward to continuing to work with Italy on our shared commitment to intellectual property rights protection and enforcement, and will closely monitor Italy's implementation of these regulations," said the USTR. Italian Ambassador Claudio Bisogniero welcomed the announcement, stating that it was "a result of extraordinary importance." --Voce Italiana
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issues including education, youth development, women's rights and health, diplomacy and other areas of special interest to the First Lady. McBride co-founded the RAND African First Ladies Initiative and Fellowship program to partner with the continent's First Ladies and support their efforts to be champions of change for health and education in their countries. The daughter of Italian immigrants, she was born and raised in Bridgeport, Ct. She received her B.A. in international relations from the University of Connecticut and studied international relations and languages at American University and the University of Florence in Italy. She and her husband, Timothy McBride, were married at Holy Rosary Church and she often participates in church events. The National Coalition of Ethnic Organizations honors about 100 individuals each year with the Ellis Island Medal of Honor. Joining McBride this year is Maria Bartiromo, a business journalist with the Fox Business Network. Bartiromo also recently received the Urbino Press Award to be officially presented to her in June in Urbino, Italy.
Noted Briefly... ►Visiting Venice this summer? Why not try rowing your own gondola? Many of the city's two dozen rowing clubs or societa, offer classes in Venetian rowing. Among them is Row Venice, which charges about $110 for a 90-minute lesson. Go to: www.rowvenice.org for more information. ►Dolce & Gabbana and Versace are household names, of course. Less known is Brunello Cucinelli, a designer who began with a tiny shop in Sardinia in 1979 and is now worth at least $1 billion. Cucinelli's relaxedluxury clothing is worn by celebrities from Prince William to Jay Z. Cucinelli told the New York Observer that his style icons are Gianni Agnelli of Fiat and actress Anna Magnani. ►Italian director Paolo Sorrentino, winner of the Oscar for best foreign film for La grande bellezza, is working on a TV series about a fictional American pope, tentatively called The Young Pope. It will include an international cast and will be shot at the Vatican, Italy, Africa and the United States. The series is expected to be controversial, imaginative and complex. ►Gia Coppola, 27, granddaughter
of director Francis Ford Coppola, is the latest member of the family to enter the world of film. She has directed her first movie, Palo Alto, based on short stories by actor James Franco. ►Diane Basilone Hawkins has produced a documentary short film called Going Back--John Basilone about her uncle, a World War II Marine Corps sargeant who was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor. The film will be shown on May 21, 2014 at Tribeca Cinema in New York City.
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FACES IN HISTORY
Margherita of Savoy: Queen Consort of the Newly-United Kingdom of Italy Popular queen helped raise national consciousness of newly-formed country Margherita Maria Teresa Giovanna di Savoia, the beloved queen consort of a newly-unified Italy, was born in Torino in 1851, the daughter of Prince Ferdinand, Duke of Genoa, and Princess Elizabeth of Saxony. Prince Ferdinand died when Margherita was 4 years old and at age 17, the beautiful and affable Margherita was given in marriage to her first cousin Umberto, the heir to the Italian throne. The couple was married in a civil ceremony at the Royal Palace in Torino. One year later, Margherita gave birth to their only child, Prince Victor Emmanuel of Naples. They made their home north of Milan in the palace of Monza, although the marriage was not without problems. Umberto had long carried on an affair with the older Duchess of Litta, and Margherita would put up with the liaison for her entire marriage. In 1878, the first king of a united Italy, Victor Emmanuel II, died. He was succeeded by Umberto and Princess Margherita, who were crowned in Naples as King and Queen of the Kingdom of
Italy. They then took up residence at the Quirinale Palace in Rome. After the coronation, the couple toured throughout Italy to greet their subjects. Margherita, a well-educated young woman who could recited Dante from memory and who adored music and entertaining, charmed everyone she met. She gained the affection of the Italian people, much more so than her husband King Umberto I, who was described by some as quiet and somewhat brutish. Queen Margherita took her duty seriously, becoming a staunch patriot and a force for helping to further unify Italy. Her focus on national traditions in dress, jewelry and food, some believe, did more to help create a national consciousness among Italians than the actions of most political figures. Her love of jewelry, especially pearls, earned her the nickname "Queen of Pearls." She was a patron of artists and writers, introduced chamber music and founded the quintet of Rome. She was also the benefactor of many charities, including the Italian Red Cross. Queen Margherita was also adventurous, becoming the first
woman to climb the highest peak of Monte Rosa, the Punta Gnifetti, where a mountain hut was named in her honor. In 1900, while King Umberto I and Queen Margherita were in Monza, the
King was shot by an anarchist, Gaetano Bresci, in retaliation for the suppression of uprisings in Milan. Bresci was the brother of a woman who had been killed in the 1898 protests in Milan. Queen Margherita's son, Victor Emmanuel, took the throne as King of Italy. In her role as Queen Mother, Margherita continued her public works. In return, her popularity grew and Italians honored her in many ways, including naming a number of dishes in her honor, most famously Pizza Margherita and Torta Margherita. (See the torta recipe at left.) In 1926, Queen Margherita died in her villa in Bordighera at age 74. Her remains were taken by train to Rome, where she was interred in the royal vault in the Pantheon. So beloved was Queen Margherita that crowds of people lined the funeral train on its trip to Rome to pay their respects and toss flowers onto her coffin.--Voce Italiana ď ˜
Recipe for Torta Margherita Many foods have been dedicated to the popular Queen Margherita, most notably the iconic Pizza Margherita, with fresh tomatoes, mozzarella and basil, whose colors, red, white and green represent Italy's flag. A number of desserts are also named in her honor, including this simple, classic Margherita cake.
Ingredients (Serves 8) 2/3 cup cornstarch 1/4 tsp baking powder 4 large eggs, separated, (at room temperature) 1/2 cup plus 2 Tbsp sugar 1 Tbsp vanilla extract 1 Tbsp grated lemon zest 1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice 1/4 tsp salt Confectioner's sugar for sprinkling
zest and lemon juice. Fold in the cornstarch mixture. 3. In a clean dry bowl, with clean, dry
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter two 8 by 1 1/2-inch round cake pans. Sift cornstarch and baking powder together onto wax paper. 2. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the egg yolks until pale. Slowly beat in sugar, then vanilla, lemon
fold the whites into the egg yolk mixture a little at a time. Spread the batter evenly in the pans. 4. Bake for 20 minutes or until the top is golden and springs back when pressed with your finger. Remove from the oven and cool for 10 minutes. Run a knife along the edges of the cake pans and carefully turn the cakes onto a cooling rack. Cool completely. 5. To serve, sprinkle with confectioner's sugar. Add fresh fruit on the sides if desired. --Adapted from a recipe by Mary Ann Esposito, CiaoItalia
beaters, beat egg whites with the salt until stiff but not dry. With a rubber spatula,
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Washington D.C., May 2014
International Concert at DAR Constitution Hall Celebrates Popes' Sainthood continued from page 1 need for people to come together." Conductor Levine, who had already attended the canonization of the Popes in Rome, had formed a 17-year friendship with Pope John Paul II, dating back to the time when Levine was named conductor of the Krakow Philharmonic and the future pope was serving in the city as archbishop. "Our relationship was special from the beginning," Levine, a Brooklyn-born Jew, told the Catholic Standard recently. "We spoke nothing but Polish. Our friendship was marked with warmth and the sense of being comrades." Over the years, the Pope invited Levine to conduct numerous important concerts at the Vatican and elsewhere, including the 1993 World Youth Day in Denver, Colo., and the historic 1994 concert to commemorate the Holocaust. When Pope John Paul II died in 2005,
Conductor Sir Gilbert Levine Levine conducted a memorial concert. Levine said that he and the Pope shared a love of God ("He always said we pray to the same God.") and a love of
music. "John Paul understood the importance and value of music," said Levine, "He knew music was a language, a way to form a bridge without words."
His friend Pope John Paul II, said Levine, "will be remembered for his will for the world to be at peace. I never met a man with a larger heart...He saw all human beings as part of his soul." The concert was sponsored by the Archdiocese of Washington, Georgetown University and the Embassies of Italy, Argentina and Poland. It was recorded for future broadcast on PBS and other stations throughout the world. At the concert Italian Ambassador Bisogniero said to Voce Italiana, "Italy is proud to be part of this important event to celebrate also in Washington the great occasion that occurred in Rome last week. These are two great Popes who will leave a profound mark on our history, our civilization and obviously the Catholic Church . . .I hope that the message of this evening is a universal dialogue that will resound profoundly." --Voce Italiana ď ˜
Photo by Antonio Tambone
Eighteen Children Receive First Communion at Holy Rosary
Fr. Ezio Marchetto with the children who received First Holy Communion on April 27: (in alphabetical order) Emanuele Adamo, Casden Carolena Case, Francesca Cinelli, Alessia Sofia Crisafulli, Cecilia Nayla Destefano, Pierpaolo Fantasia, Valerio Flaviani, Jacopo Grasso, Kaela Love Lopez, Sophie Mia Lopez, Filippo Marzinotto, Victoria Ariel Misuraca, Lea Gabriella Palazzo, Annalisa Maria Russo, Ethan Michael Siegrist, Brandon Thomas Stefkovich, Nicholas John Stefkovich, Angelo Umana. First Communion instructors were Lourdes Tinajero and Lisa Pastore.
Washington D.C., May 2014
Spring Dinner-Dance at Casa Italiana Attracts Large Crowd
More than 200 parishioners and friends filled Casa Italiana for the recent Spring Dinner-Dance. The lively crowd enjoyed a dinner of pizza, antipasti, bruschette, desserts and beverages. Dance music was provided by the i-Talians, a pop/rock band of Italian musicians living in Washington D.C., who say their goal is to export Italian music to the U.S. The band entertained the crowd with old Neapolitan songs and classical and contemporary Italian favorites. The evening was sponsored by the Holy Rosary Church Parish Council and coordinated by council member Simonetta Baldassari. "The purpose of the Spring Dinner-Dance was to open up our community to new families and further build community spirit around
good Italian music," said Baldassari. "It was amazing to see such a variety of people from different generations and backgrounds." Proceeds from the evening were donated to Holy Rosary Church. ď ˜
Keeping Alive Joe Grano's Dream of a Brumidi Stamp
Gauging Community Reaction to La grande bellezza
When Joe Grano, champion of Capitol artist Constantino Brumidi, died prematurely last fall, many feared that his dream of getting the Post Office to issue a Brumidi postage stamp would lose momentum. But House Resolution 101 now on the floor urges the U.S. Postal Service to issue a commemorative stamp in 2015 in honor of Brumidi. The stamp would coincide with the 150th anniversary of Brumidi's completion of the famous artwork Apotheosis of Washington, which decorates the Capitol. To help the Brumidi campaign succeed, all are urged to contact their Representative by email or phone and indicate their support. Call 202-224-3121 to be connected to your Representative, or go to http://www.house.gov/representatives.
The late Joe Grano
i-Talians' Pasquale DePandi
by Roger McClure
Now that the film La grande bellezza, (The Great Beauty), has been showered with awards--an Oscar for Best Foreign Film, a Golden Globe and four European awards--we decided to conduct an unofficial survey among local Italians and Italian Americans to get their impressions of the movie. The film, which takes place in Rome, is about Jep Gambardella, an aging intellectual and former writer who sets out to find meaning in his life. Rome provides a mysterious and engaging back drop. We asked Gianpiero Forcina, who was born in Rome and returns for extended stays each year, his opinion of the movie. "Being a Roman," he said, "my impression was almost a deja vu, the movie being so similar to La dolce vita, with both films showing similar visions and doses of the beauty of Rome." The film indeed does capture the beauty of Rome. Director Paolo Sorrentino, although a Neapolitan, was made an honorary citizen of Rome. Gianpiero Forcina's American-born wife Teresa who loves all things Italian, said, "The beauty of the movie is that it captures many special places in Rome that the average tourist doesn't see. It shows many different aspects of Rome, unknown by the casual visitor, such
Parishioners and friends enjoying Spring Dinner-Dance
as that there are still noble families in Roman society." One of the moving scenes in the film was the reminiscing of a noble lady on her life as a child growing up in a grand palace. John Ferrara, whose family is from the Piedmont area, has a friend who lives in the very apartment building as the fictional main character Jep. His
Jep Gambardella (actor Toni Servillo)
friend wonders who are the high-society decadent and wealthy Romans that are portrayed in the film. "Who are these people," he asked, "I have never met any people like those in the movie. And, what does Sorrentino, a Neapolitan know about Rome?" Tom Sullivan, who is active in the Padre Pio Society at Holy Rosary Church, and whose wife is Sicilian, observed that in this film, as in La dolce
vita, the wealthy, decadent characters are not Christians. Parishioner Bruno Fusco said, "As someone who produces shows for the public, I believe Sorrentino provides a beautiful voyage through Rome. The audience takes away from the movie what they see, the Colosseum, Via Veneto and the other beautiful scenery of Rome." In Italy, meanwhile, many are puzzled by the film's international success. Author Beppe Severgnini came up with eight reasons why the film is so beloved by foreigners, leaving many Italians perplexed. One reason, according to Severgnini, is that the film represents a "sensual" Italy, looked on by the world as a playground in which Italians work. Another is that people who are excessive, uncertain, anxious, immoral, are fundamentally human and universal. Italy is the land of human nature and Rome is its capital. ď ˜
Washington D.C., May 2014 Editor-in-Chief: Fr. Ezio Marchetto, C.S. Executive Editor: Francesco Isgrò
Founded in 1960 An Italian American Gazette of the Greater Washington D.C. Area
Editorial Board: Pino Cicala, Enrico Davoli, Dona De Sanctis, Anna Isgrò, Gemma Puglisi, Fred Rotondaro Board of Trustees: Franco Nuschese, Stephanie Razzano, Beatrice Tierney
There Are More Slaves Today Than at Any Time in History
illionaire Long Island Couple Charged with Slave Labor” read the front page news. The millionaire couple held two Indonesian women captive in their Long Island home. With legal B-1 visas in hand, the two Indonesian women arrived in the United States in 2002. The owners took the women's passports and refused to allow them leave their home. The women never received payment for their work. They suffered beatings and had scalding water poured on them. Other instances of abuse include forcing the women to repeatedly climb stairs as a method of discipline for mistakes, as well insisting that one of the them eat 25 hot peppers in one sitting. Furthermore, they were required to sleep in the kitchen on floor mats. The pair admitted to stealing food from the kitchen because they did not receive adequate amounts of food. Even though slavery is now outlawed in every country, the number of slaves today remains as high as 12 million to 29.8 million. According to a broad definition of slavery used by Kevin Bales of Free the Slaves (FTS), an advocacy group linked with Anti-Slavery International, there were 27 million people in slavery in 1999, spread all over the world. In 2005, the International Labour Organization provided an estimate of 12.3 million forced laborers in the world. Siddharth Kara has also provided an estimate of 28.4 million slaves at the end of 2006, divided into the following three categories: bonded labor/debt bondage (18.1 million), forced labor
(7.6 million), and trafficked slaves (2.7 million).According to a 2003 report by Human Rights Watch, there are an estimated 15 million children in India who are bonded workers, working in slavelike conditions in order to pay off debts. While American slaves in 1809 were sold for around $40,000 (in today's dollars); a slave nowadays can be bought for just $90; making replacement more economical than providing long term care. Slavery is a multi-billion dollar industry with estimates of up to $35 billion generated annually. Today, at any given time, tens of thousands of people are working as slaves in America: cleaning houses, working on farms, or, most commonly, prostituting themselves for the profit of their owners. They are bought and sold, just as they used to be in the American South, and few of those who engage in slave trafficking are ever brought to justice. We are often are confused by the whole concept of slavery. What's to keep a slave from just walking away and finding help? A variety of methods are used to keep slaves helpless to help themselves: taking documents, language barriers, cultural barriers, physical coercion, psychological coercion. Regardless of what position we hold in society, from CEO to minister to average Joe, we can be our brother's keeper. If you think there's something odd about a coworker, a neighbor, a nanny, a member of a congregation, look into it - carefully and safely. If you suspect slavery or abuse, report it to the authorities.--Fr. Ezio Marchetto
“Even though slavery is outlawed in every country, the number of slaves remains as high as 12 million to nearly 30 million.”
The Vatican Library Goes Digital The Vatican is planning to give the public access to its historic trove of archives by putting the manuscipts online. Millions of pages of works from its library, including Virgil's 1,600-year old poems and a Botticelli illustration of Dante's Divine Comedy, for example, will become available worldwide. The Vatican Apostolic Library was founded about 600 years ago by Pope Nicholas V. It houses more than 82,000 manuscripts, some dating back to the second century. Gaining access to the library has mostly been limited to scholars
who must first submit a detailed request and be approved to enter. By digitizing its archives, they become available to everyone. Over the past year, the Vatican has worked with specialized firms to test special scanners and ways to handle the delicate documents. Soon, a group of about 50 Italian and Japanese specialists will start digitizing the first batch of 3,000 manuscripts in a process that is expected to be completed in 2018. The first digital images are anticipated to be online later this year.
The Lido Civic Club of Washington D.C. 1929-2014 Our 85th Year
Metropolitan Washington’s Premier Italian-American Business and Professional Men’s Organization
Francesco Isgrò, Esq., President Ross Vincenti, Esq., Vice President John DeZinno, Treasurer Paul Zambrotta, Secretary Louis J. Scalfari, Director of Public Affairs Giuseppe Argiolas, Sergeant at Arms
“To the end that American citizens of Italian descent or origin and their families may find a welcome and ready entrance into the social, civil and community life of Washington, D.C., and thus be helped in forming acquaintances and taking part in the activities of community life which leads to contentment and tends to make the new member more valuable to himself, his employer and his community; to perpetuate the bond of friendship and good will which has always existed between the American and Italian peoples....” (From the Preamble to the 1929 Lido Club Constitution)
Washington D.C., May 2014
“Ralph Fasanella: Lest We Forget” at the Smithsonian American Art Museum
Centenary tribute brings together self-taught artist’s most significant works
Ralph Fasanella, born in 1914, was a self-taught painter who celebrated the common man and fought for the working class through artworks that tackled complex issues of postwar America. A new exhibit at the American Art Museum, called “Ralph Fasanella: Lest We Forget,” places Fasanella among a group of American painters who believed that art can come from everyday life and can generate important social change. The exhibition brings together 19 of the artist’s most significant large paintings and eight sketches in celebration of the 100th anniversary of his birth. The American Art Museum was an early champion of collecting and exhibiting work by self-taught artists, so it is fitting that it present this group of Fasanella’s powerful paintings. “Fasanella’s message of community and family unity sends a potent reminder that the power to effect change lies in the heart of every person,” said Elizabeth Broun, director of the American Art Museum. The son of Italian immigrants, Fasanella was born in the Bronx and grew up in the working-class neighbor-
Fasanella's Subway Riders, 1950
hoods of New York City. He worked with his father on his ice-delivery route, later taking on jobs in the garment industry, as a truck driver, gas station owner and union organizer. His parents ingrained in him empathy and respect for the common man and taught him the value of hard work and of fighting for one’s rights, lessons that would later resonate in his works. Fasanella took up painting in 1945 to help relieve the arthritis in his hands. In the 1970s, he devoted himself to his art full-time and his work became more widely recognized. He died in 1997.
A tireless advocate for workers’ rights, Fasanella viewed painting as an extension of his union activity and created artworks as memorial documents, teaching tools and rallying cries for his community. These paintings, often large in scale and full of symbolic imagery, deal with themes of struggle, endurance, social justice, family and community. He felt strongly about the need to remember the sacrifices of previous generations, inscribing the phrase “Lest We Forget” on several of his paintings. "He ardently believed that art didn’t have to be elitist or unapproachable; it
was a tool to be wielded like a hammer,” said Leslie Umberger, the curator who organized the exhibit. As early as 1947, just a few years after he began to paint, Fasanella's art was exhibited alongside top social realist painters, such as Philip Evergood and Ben Shahn. Fasanella's works hung in galleries and union halls, bridging a divide between socially aware, self-taught artists and their trained counterparts. Among the artworks on display are two major paintings from the museum’s permanent collection. Iceman Crucified #4 is a tribute to Fasanella’s father and a recent gift to the museum from the artist’s estate. In Modern Times, the artist champions humanistic values in an increasingly technological modern world. The American Folk Art Museum in New York City, which holds a significant collection of Fasanella’s artworks and archives donated by the Fasanella family, has loaned six paintings to the exhibition, as well as the drawings and archival materials presented The exhibit can be seen through August 3, 2014, when it travels to New York City.
The Partisans: A Gripping Story of Italian Freedom Fighters in World War II THE PARTISANS: SONS AND DAUGHTERS by Peter Drago (amazon.com) As Italy celebrated Liberation Day this past April 25, the nation recalled not only the end of a devastating war nearly 70 years ago, but also the important role that partisans played in helping to end World War II in the country. Written by Italian American author Peter Drago, The Partisans is a work of gripping fiction that is based on historical reality--the little-celebrated story of Italian men and women who helped the Allied Forces fight the Nazis during the last two years of WWII. It is during this period--after Italy's surrender to the Allies in 1943, when Italy is thrown into chaos, and before the country's liberation in April 1945--that Drago's story takes place. Its focus is on
the resistance fighters, men and women who took on not only the Nazis but also the remaining Fascists in what can be called a true civil war. As the book opens, one of the main characters decides to unite with his cousin, a partisan leader, to help protect citizens from both the Fascists and the German occupiers, who now consider the Italians traitors. The partisans learn of Nazi plans to execute Roman citizens and hunt down Jews and devise a plan to thwart the Nazis. At the same time, a unit of American soldiers, including an Italian American, makes its way to Rome to gather intelligence from the partisans. Together, the Americans and the partisans manage to rescue a trainload of people destined for concentration camps in Germany and escort them through the mountains to safety, as they also fight off Fascist troops along the way. The story is interwoven with sub-
plots of personal relationships, adding a romantic layer to the main historical tale. The book has drama, intrigue and suspense, as it captures the split loyalties within Italian families during a tumultuous time of confusing loyalties. It shows how the partisans risked their lives to protect their countrymen and help keep Italy united and free of authoritarian regimes. Drago's interest in his Italian heritage--his father emigrated from Sicily to the United States--prompted him to research and write The Partisans, his first book. Drago has a PhD in physics from St. John's University and was a professor at the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy for 35 years. After retiring, he focused on his love of history and especially the events around WWII, Italy's role in the war and the littleknown story of the efforts that partisans made to help liberate their country.
Washington D.C., May 2014
MARK YOUR CALENDAR May
18, 2014. 9:00 a.m. St. Pio of Pietrelcina Mass. May 18, 2014. Confirmation at 10:30 a.m. Mass. May 18, 2014. St. Philip Neri Mass at 12:00 noon with Apostolic Nuncio Archbishop Carlo Vigano. May 18, 2014. The EU Language Fair. 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Somerset, Md. near Friendship Heights Metro. Casa Italiana Ente Gestore will represent the Italian Language. www.saturday-schools.org/go/fair/rsvp May 25, 2014. Observation of the 22nd anniversary of the assassination of Judges Falcone and Borsellino at the 10:30 Mass. June 1, 2014. Festa della Repubblica Mass at 10:30 a.m. June 1, 2014. AMHS silent auction to benefit AMHS grants and scholarship fund. At Casa Italiana from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. June 2, 2014. Italian American Open Golf Tournament at Army Navy Country Club hosted by Lido Civic Club.
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Funds raised support Casa Italiana, Holy Rosary Church, and the scholarship fund. Contact Robert Buttarazzi at 301-841-3777. June 7, 2014. The Riverbend Opera Company will perform the opera Andrea Chenier by Umberto Giordano at Casa Italiana. Tickets are $10. June 15, 2014. St. Anthony Mass at 10:30 a.m. June 19, 2014. Lido Civic Club scholarship winners' reception at the Italian Embassy. Guests are welcome. Contact Lorry Clavelli at firstname.lastname@example.org June 22, 2014. The Holy Name Society outing to watch the Washington Nationals take on the Atlanta Braves. Contact: Sal Mazzuca at 202-745-1464. September, 2014. Festival at Villa Rosa.